PLSC Charter

1. Foundational Principles and Governance

1.1. The Privacy Law Scholars Conference (“PLSC”) promotes scholarship in privacy, broadly defined, by providing workshop sessions and academic dialogue open to scholars in all disciplines from around the world. At PLSC’s core is work related to privacy law, including work in the humanities and social sciences, computer and data science, and other fields.

1.2. The PLSC welcomes participants of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, and religions, and it encourages submitted papers that engage with issues of systemic and/or structural bias and inequality. 

1.3. This Charter may be amended by a vote of 60% or greater of the total membership of the Program and Planning Committee (PPC).  

2. Program and Planning Committee

2.1. The Program and Planning Committee (PPC) shall be responsible for selecting the Host Institutions for the PLSC, soliciting and selecting papers to be workshopped at the PLSC, managing participation at the PLSC, developing and adopting a code of conduct for the PLSC, and making all other strategic decisions relating to the PLSC.

2.2. The PPC shall consist of a minimum of 7 people and a maximum of 15 people, with the exact number to be determined by a majority vote of the PPC. 

2.3. The term for a member of the PPC is 3 years. After the 3-year period, a PPC member may be nominated and be reelected, provided that a PPC member may serve a maximum number of two consecutive terms.

2.4. Each year at the event, the PPC shall circulate an open call for nominations to serve on the PPC and shall designate a subcommittee of the PPC to receive nominations. Within 4 weeks after the event, the subcommittee shall present the nominations to the full PPC, which shall select new members of the PPC by majority vote. 

2.5. The following factors shall be considered in selecting PPC members: scholarly ability and record, previous attendance and familiarity with the PLSC, commitment to diversity of viewpoints, and commitment to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment at the PLSC. A majority of the PPC shall consist of tenured law professors. 

2.6. A majority of PPC members shall constitute a quorum. Except as provided in paragraph 1.3, above, A majority of the PPC members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present may act on behalf of the PPC.

2.7. The PPC shall have a Chair, to be elected by majority vote of the PPC. The term for the PPC Chair shall be 3 years. At the beginning of the final year of the Chair’s term, the PPC shall elect a Chair-elect by majority vote of the PPC. After the conclusion of the Chair’s term, the Chair-elect shall automatically become Chair for a 3-year term.

3. Host Institutions

3.1. Following approval of this charter, the PPC shall circulate an open call for self-nominations from institution(s) wishing to host the PLSC on a rotating basis (“Host Institutions”) and shall select an initial group of up to four Host Institutions by a majority vote. If the PPC later needs to replace a Host Institution that wishes to withdraw, or if the PPC wishes to make any other changes to the group of Host Institutions, it may do so by majority vote.

3.2. Each Host Institution shall be an academic institution that: (i) is located in North America; (ii) has a significant presence in privacy-related scholarship and research; (iii) can provide a venue for the PLSC that includes, at minimum, a large gathering space for meals with capacity for at least 200 people and 10 breakout rooms each capable of seating at least 25 people; and (iv) can supply administrative and event-planning resources to support the PLSC.

3.3. In consultation with the Host Institutions, the PPC shall establish a schedule for rotating the PLSC among the Host Institutions. Each year’s Host Institution must designate one member of the faculty or senior academic staff as the liaison to the PPC for the event. If that person is not already a member of the PPC, they will serve as a member of the PPC ex officio for that year, with voting rights only as to matters described in Articles 4 and 5 of this charter. 

3.4. Each year’s Host Institution shall be responsible for event logistics subject to guidance from the PPC, including processing registrations and collecting fees in accordance with Section 5 below, communications and publicity, and providing food for the event (including breakfasts, lunches, and any associated evening receptions). 

4. Selection of Paper Abstracts

4.1 The PPC shall prepare an open call for submission of abstracts of papers to be workshopped at the PLSC and shall ensure that the call for submission is circulated widely. The call for submission shall instruct those wishing to workshop papers at the PLSC that submitted abstracts must include citations sufficient to situate the proposed work in the relevant literature. Anyone submitting an abstract shall be required to comply with PLSC’s Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policy (CIDP). The CIDP shall be maintained and widely circulated by the PPC, including as part of the open call for submissions of abstracts of papers. The CIDP shall require disclosure of all funding for the paper or related research by any author of the paper, and shall require anyone submitting an abstract to certify that the paper is not subject to pre-publication editing or approval by any sponsor of the research and that no source of support has conditioned funding for the paper or the research of which the paper is a part on the development of specific conclusions or outcomes.

4.2. The PPC shall determine the number and selection of papers to be workshopped. The Chair shall prepare or have prepared copies of the submitted materials that omit author identifying information to circulate to the PPC, and shall recuse other members of the PPC from evaluating papers authored or coauthored by themselves or by colleagues at their institutions. Members of the PPC shall rate the submitted abstracts via blind review and shall submit such ratings to the Chair. The final selection of papers need not be blind.

4.3. The PPC, in its discretion, may designate a small number of session slots for non-paper workshops, such as special discussions or presentations. 

4.4. After papers have been selected, the PPC or a subcommittee of the PPC shall select commenters for each paper from among the registered participants. 

5. Participation in the PLSC

5.1. “Participation” in the PLSC includes workshopping a paper at the PLSC or attending the PLSC.

5.2. The PPC shall circulate an open call to participate in the PLSC, shall ensure that at least 70% of the participants are affiliated with an academic institution in a capacity that includes doing scholarly research, and shall make special efforts to encourage participation by individuals from underrepresented groups.  The PPC shall invite practitioners and others to participate only after taking into consideration their commitment to academic values of open-minded discussion and debate and their ability to contribute to the discussion independently of their employer’s or organization’s special interests.

5.3. The PPC shall determine the fees to be charged for participation in the PLSC, may set different fees for different categories of participants, and shall establish a policy allowing individual participants to request and receive fee waivers for good reason.